WBO #1 world ranked featherweight Orlando Cruz (19-2-1, 9 KOs) of Puerto Rico returns to the ring this Friday. Cruz, promoted by All Star Boxing will take on Southern California-based Aalan Martinez (14-1-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico. The scheduled for 12 round featherweight main event will see Cruz looking to successfully defend his WBO Latino featherweight title. Tuto Zabala Jr. (All Star Boxing) will promote event and it will be broadcast live on Telemundo beginning at 11:35 PM ET/PT. The bout will take place at the Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida. Cruz will face a rather tall challenge in Martinez who is 5’9 to Cruz´ 5’4. Martinez in essence enters the fight with no pressure at all while Cruz is possibly one fight away from a world title fight. So a loss would be a major setback for Cruz. On the other hand a win for Martinez could vault him into a top 15 world ranking and closer to a world title fight for himself. Even without saying all that, there is still the classic Mexico vs Puerto Rico boxing rivalry at play here as well. Cruz for is part is very motivated and up for the challenge. He spoke with Fightnews after arriving to the site of the fight in Kissimmee, Florida.
Though you are from Puerto Rico you did not train there for this fight. Where did you train?
For this training camp I trained in Buffalo, New York.
Why there and not Puerto Rico?
I love Puerto Rico very much but this is a big fight for me and I can’t have any distractions. I have to be 100% focused.
Temperatures are very cold this time a year in Buffalo. Was it hard to adapt coming from the warm weather of Puerto Rico?
It was not hard at all. A lot of the adapting is in your mind to me. It’s a mental thing. I have been able to run outside without a problem for the most part.
It’s been said that you’re very close to a possible world title fight. Why take a fight like this?
I completely trust the judgement and decisions of my promoter All Star Boxing Promotions. They feel this a good fight for me and I’m ready to fight.
What do you know about Martinez?
I don’t know a lot to be honest with you aside from the fact that he is a tall featherweight and that his style can be aggressive. I know his only pro loss was to newly crowned world featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich. I am just going to focus on executing the gameplan that me and my team have planned.
You came in over the featherweight limit in your last fight. Have you made the adjustments to avoid that happening again?
That was completely my fault. I make no excuses. Be rest assured that I will make the weight without a problem.
Anything you would like to say in closing?
I´m very appreciative for all the support I get from my mother, All Star Boxing Promotions, and Puerto Rico, all the fans in general.